Friday, April 30, 2010

Anti-Israel Attack In Britain

Speaking of anti-Israel protesters behaving badly, Elder of Ziyon links us to this story about an Israeli diplomat whose car was attacked while in the UK on a visit.

"The protesters were waiting for Lador-Fresher [Israeli deputy ambassador] outside the lecture hall, but this did not deter her from entering as planned. Immediately upon her exit, the protesters lunged at the diplomat, prompting security guards to whisk her back into the hall. Following a consultation on the site, it was decided to escort her out of the premises in a police car....The deputy ambassador was removed from the hall and into the police vehicle. However, this did not block the protesters, who surrounded the car and climbed on the hood, trying to break the windshield."

As Zach and I have said in the past, these people are not "pro-Palestinian". The Palestinians gain no apparent benefit from an assault on an Israeli diplomat. These protesters simply hate Israel and hate this ambassador because she is a representative of Israel. With all this talk of BDS recently, it's important to make the distinction between these two groups, although one often disguises itself as the other. 
Some "criticism" of Israel's policy is necessary from a pro-Palestinian point of view. If I was a pro-Palestinian individual (and to a certain extent I am), I would want a) the occupation of the West Bank to end, b) the blockade of Gaza to end and c) East Jerusalem for a Palestinian capitol. That is what the Palestinians as people absolutely require. Now here's what they don't require: settlement freezes, removal of non-violent settlers, all of Jerusalem, the boycott of Israel, UN/US/World Court condemnations of Israel, more weapons, Israel to have less weapons/less money, or Israeli diplomats assaulted on the streets. In my opinion, none of those things will result in either a, b or c. Putting "pressure" on Israel to remove the occupation will not work nearly as well as negotiating with Israel and signing a peace treaty that ensures the IDF will stay out of the West Bank if the PA keeps the peace. If my goal is the benefit of the Palestinian people rather than the hurting of the Israeli people, that's what I would do. You might disagree, though. 

Elder also points out that not a single British media outlet other than the Jewish ones covered the story of the attacked Israeli diplomat. This is extremely disturbing to see.

UPDATE: Our good friends at CiFWatch have more information, so head over there to read up. 

BDS Failure Followup

Jon at the DivestThis blog has confirmed that the divestment vote at Berkeley has failed, and not only that, but the vote for another BDS resolution at UCSD has also failed. Even though the resolutions would not have done anything on their own, since it is merely a student recommendation and therefore has little actual influence over school policy, these resolutions still could not come into reality. No matter how much the HPers tell us "BDS is gaining strength", here in America at least the complete opposite happened two days ago and has been for the past ten years.

Jon states that, "At Berkeley, after having made their presentations endlessly for weeks on end, after dozens of news stories, hundreds of blog entries, thousands of e-mails and millions of Tweets, they decided to demonstrate that the ASUC vote against their pet project was an example of – wait for it – them being "silenced" (illustrated by the BDSers covering their own mouths with tape and marching out of the room)." Once again, the anti-Israel movement talks out of both sides of their mouths. Before the vote, they spread their message as far and wide as possible, even getting people like Naomi Klein and Mustafa Barghouti to write editorials in widely read newspapers like the Huffington Post cheering them on. But the moment they lose, they complain that they are "silenced" and if more people heard their message, they would have won. It never enters these peoples' minds for a second that they might simply be wrong, and the student body at Berkeley heard their message plenty, they just didn't agree with it.

I should also point out that the resolution at UCSD was proposed and then voted on only three days later. For those HPers out there who believe the conspiracy theory of AIPAC infiltrating the student organization, I would like an explanation of how they were able to do that in three days, with no elections between the time of proposal and the time of vote.

What Israel Means to David Shasha (Part 2): The Raging Bull

Continuing my analysis of David Shasha's latest work on the Huffington Post, let's continue with this enlightening passage:
"For the traditional Jew, not just for Sephardim, the state of Israel represents a profound rejection of a millennia-old Jewish identity. The psychological impact of all this is formulated in the irrational American Jewish identification with Israel as the existential center of all Jewish life. Having rejected the traditions of the past, based on the religious values of Torah and Halakhah, contemporary Jews have recreated a religious culture based on the rituals and demands of the Jewish state and Zionism."
I would be curious to know what exactly this "millennia-old Jewish identity" is, exactly. Perhaps David Shasha is talking about the perception of learned but weak "shtetel Jew?" Or pious Jews like Rabbi Hillel who would prefer to sacrifice themselves for their faith rather than fight. I don't know, and I'm never going to find out because he does not elaborate. He instead continues like a raging bull, never stopping for breath or to explain what he means. What traditions of the past have American Jews rejected? How exactly have Jews of today created a "culture" that is based around Israel? I can't even refute what he is saying, because he isn't saying anything!

All I know is that at from what I know if Jewish culture (having attended a Reform schul and currently working at a Conservative one) is that holidays and traditions are still very much based around Torah and other ties to the past. Israel does show up on days like Israel Independence Day, but other than that merely stays in the background. So Mr. Shasha, if you would like to counter this argument with your own experiences, write another article. Let's continue:
"In typical Ashkenazi fashion, this new Zionist religion is authoritarian and draconian in its demand for conformity."
 "Typical Ashkenazi fashion" huh? Everyone's a little bit racist...

A Study in Contrasts

Matt already commented about the Egypt gassing thread yesterday, but I thought that I would talk a little bit more about it. In perusing the thread, I saw that there were a lot of astonished and angry reactions to the story. That is not surprising, it was a terrible thing for Egypt to do. But I then decided it might be fun to go back and compare the reactions of the Huffington Posters with the recent rocket attack on Israel that left a Thai worker dead. I feel like it is an appropriate comparison, although killing people in a tunnel with gas is a heinous thing to do and worse than a rocket attack, it is similar enough.

So take a look at the following comments and see if you can figure out which one belongs to which thread. Some key sections were removed and replaced with variables to hide the context and give away what it is referring to. Sorry if that means it is confusing. Click the link below for the answers.

A. "You misinterpret what this incident represents. It comes in driect response to [X]. [X] and [X] are what is driving this, not Palestinian [Y]."

B. "This is outrageous and criminal. Should be investigated. Cut aid to [X]. The [X] is a dictatorship"

C. "This is a criminal act by [X]. Its disgusting. Only savages do things like this."

D. "Two words....Mossad and distraction."

E. "There is no question that [X] gets the indirect blame for this [Y]. It is the outcome of imprisoning millions of people and depriving them of medical care, proper food and the chance to make something of their lives. If [X] wants to stop the [Y], it needs to stop the siege of Gaza. The siege has produced desperation which is leading to desperate acts."

F. "No one can come close to the talent of the [X] when it comes to conspiracies and deception."

G. "If true, this is ... barbaric."

H. "No, there is not. [X] is a war crime."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Life in Gaza: Bodybuilding Competition

Ynetnews reports that 70 bodybuilders will compete in Gaza for the championship. "About 70 men with big muscles and small shorts posed and flexed on stage before a panel of judges and a few thousand fans, all seeking prizes in the Gaza bodybuilding championship." Yes, Gaza must be the only "open-air prison" in the universe that can host bodybuilding championships. It's crazy how the AZs keep believing life in Gaza is so terrible, even after articles like this one are published every day.

Anti-Semitic Comment of the Day

Posted on an article posted today about Egypt gassing a smuggling tunnel to Gaza:

You can click for context, but what set him off is another poster saying, "I bet you're not Jewish". I'm sure the AZs out there would defend his post as a legitimate response, but I don't see it that way.

Berkeley SC Fails to Overturn President's Veto

After two weeks of waiting, the final vote to try to overturn the student President's veto of the divestment bill took place in Berkeley, and it failed, generating only 13 out of the 14 votes required. Even in the heart of liberal America, where bashing Israel in the name of peace is commonplace, divestment still didn't gain any traction. It will only be a matter of time before the BDS movement tries again in some other liberal college (my guess, Bard), but it's always nice to see that divestment has failed again, the way it has been for the past ten years. Close, but no cigar, guys.

Siege News for EoZ

Elder of Ziyon has a story that I think might be of interest to us.

From a French newspaper, over the next two years 200,000 laptops will be delivered into the Gaza Strip to be used by schoolchildren there. "spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said...'The campaign is beginning today in refugee schools in (the southern Gaza town of) Rafah, with the distribution of 2,200 laptops as part of a plan to distribute 200,000 laptops to our students in the Gaza Strip,'". So today, 2,000 laptops have been delivered into Gaza, the place described by the AZs as "open-air prison" and "torture". Shoot, schoolchildren here in the US don't all have laptops they can use. Clearly, this Gaza siege isn't nearly as bad as we are constantly lead to believe. 

What Israel Means to David Shasha (Part 1): The Image of the Jew

For those of you who aren't familiar with David Shasha, he's yet another member of the Huffington Posts' anti-Israel blogger stable. He often writes about Jewish issues, but even when he does it is usually done for the purposes of attacking Israel and it's actions. I could have sworn he had shown up on this blog at some point, but apparently not. Anyway, his latest work on the Huffington Post is called "What Israel Means to Me." The answer? Very little, apparently, and what little there is means something negative. What can you expect? This is the Huffington Post, after all.

Shasha starts off his work with an amazing and ridiculous strawman, even by HP standards:
"Over the years there has been a constant spate of books containing the testimonials of American Jews proclaiming their teary-eyed and deeply emotional love of the state of Israel. These books are part of the larger program of Israeli Hasbarah, the form of advocacy that seeks to assert the total primacy of Zionism as the centerpiece of Jewish life the world over."
 Give me a break. He's really saying that American Jews don't care about Israel and it's people unless they are paid to talk about it by the Israeli government? Does he provide any evidence to back up his absurd claim? To be honest, this is hardly the first time that Shasha misinterprets what is going on with the American Jewish community, and it isn't the last either. I like to keep an eye on what is going on in American Jewish life, and there is no "total primacy of Zionism." Mr. Shasha puts out his viewpoints early and strongly, and it only goes downhill from there.

Comment of the Day

The original link. And we get this kind of argument a lot: That Israel is pursuing a course that will destroy it, and only by being as anti-Israel as they are can we save it. In this way the anti-Zionists, who never have a word to say in praise of Israel, try to convince us that they really care about Israel and want what is best for it. Yeah. Sure. Oh, and the Nazi comparison really helped your case there.

Anti-Zionists and J Street

Those who read other pro-Israel blogs might have come to the conclusion that the new "pro-Israel, pro-peace" organization J Street is a terrible creation that must be destroyed. And indeed, there is much to criticize: Solomonia has written about how J Street is more than willing to divide Jerusalem, and other pro-Israel bloggers have criticized them as well. Most prominent among J Street's critics would be Alan Dershowitz, who wrote recently about how he no longer considers them to be pro-Israel, because they continued to push General Patreaus' comments after he had set the record straight. That last article was also posted on the Huffington Post.

Matt and I haven't really commented much about J Street, suffice to say that many pro-Israel advocates don't like them. Their reasoning for this, in sum, is that J Street claims to know what is best for Israel even if Israel itself doesn't know it. In other words, J Street will push for America to do X, Y and Z even though Israel doesn't want them to, and then claim that they were just acting in Israel's best interests. Contrast this with AIPAC, who want the American-Israel alliance to be strong but also want the two sides to get along. AIPAC usually thinks that America should be listening to Israel, J Street in contrast thinks that Israel should be listening to America. In that sense, they are a valuable counterbalance. On the other hand, it's pretty bold of them to think they know Israel's situation better than the Israelis. That is why, in my opinion, they haven't received a lot of support from mainstream Jews, at least those who are in fact pro-Israel.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Divestment Update

The Jerusalem Post has covered some news stories from today:

First of all, Colombia has decided to expand their ties with Israel. Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez said that he was "keen" to establish bilateral ties with Israel across all levels. Apparently part of his decision was by reading the book "Start Up Nation." Who knew?

Second, Google has purchased its first Israeli start up company. Labpixies creates interactive gadgets for websites, and was acquired by Google for about 25 million dollars. 

But remember, the anti-Zionists always tell us that "the world" is moving closer toward isolating Israel. It's going to happen any day now, they say. Keep waiting guys.

Mythbusting: The Myth of the Ten Thousand

If you looked at our Huffington Post Watch for the recent Gilad Shalit thread, you would notice that there were a lot of people using the trademark Palestinian counter argument of "So what? What about XY and Z?" In this case the XY and Z were Palestinian prisoners, aka those in "administrative detention" being held by Israel. Here is one example of a common argument (and myth) that I wanted to focus on:
Hamas holds 1 Israeli soldier in what Israeli claim is a war. Hardly a hostage. . .
Israel holds approximately 10,000 Palestinians including many women and children. . .
Now talk to me about hostages again. . . .10,000 Palestinians against 1 Israeli soldier. Come on. . .
Right. So here we have "the myth of the ten thousand," as I like to call it. According to Nils here, there are ten thousand Palestinians (including women and children) who are just sitting in Israeli jails as we speak. There are many other Huffington Posters who will repeat the myth of the ten thousand in many different places and contexts as well.

Unfortunately, this is again another transparent lie. You can look at B'tselem's website and you will find the actual statistics. There are currently (as of B'tselem's last update) about 237 Palestinians being held in adminstrative detention. Not even close to ten thousand, and if look at the stats on that page some more, you will see that most prisoners in AD are released after no more than a year and a half. It doesn't even say which were arrested for "being peaceful" (thought according to the HPers that would be all of them) and which were not.

Now, admittedly this doesn't include actual prison. B'tselem has stats for them as well, and that includes much more, about six thousand. But again if you look you will see that pretty much all of the six thousand were either convicted in a court of law or are being held until conviction. The number in AD is a fraction of that. Usually, though, when the HPers use the myth of the ten thousand, they are referring to administrative detention, not terrorists who have been convicted.

So I guess the question now is where did the ten thousand number come from? My theory is that since the start of "the occupation" ten thousand Palestinians have passed through the system, and were released again (or not). Regardless, to claim that Israel is holding ten thousand Palestinians "hostage" is simply yet another half-truth.

Holocaust Denial Comment of the Day

Also on the Chomsky thread, it's not very creative but it gets the job done:

HPW: David Harris on McCarthyism

Zach already talked about David Harris' article about the accusations of dual loyalty that are starting to be thrown at Israel supporters. There weren't very many abusive comments, but those that were basically said, "yeah, McCarthyism is bad, but not if the people being accused really are traitors!", which effectively made Mr. Harris' point for him. Read on for the comments we thought were worthy of your attention.

Anti-Semitic Comment of the Day

Posted on the Chomsky thread, which is still too long and too much information for me to go through right now...

The "Rothschilds", of course, being the barely disguised code-word for "Jews."

HPW User Profile: Setstein

We've got an bonafide anti-Semite for your perusal today by the name of setstein. I know there are readers of this blog who are skeptical as to its point, so I would ask that you objectively look at this guy's comments and find out for yourself that there are anti-Semites on the HP. Setstein doesn't discriminate only against Jews, though, he also hates Muslims. Read on for his comments.

Noam Chomsky Publishes on the Huffington Post

I am sure that those of you who are acquainted with some of the academics surrounding the Leftist point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is familiar with Noam Chomsky, the linguistic turned expert-on-everything. Chomsky writes on a great number of topics, including the Middle East conflict as well as foreign relations of the United States. More than any other academic I am familiar with, he lets his viewpoint influence his writings. And his viewpoint is: People with power (aka the rich) are always wrong, people without power (aka the poor) are always right. This is pretty much the Leftist point of view in a sentence, which is therefore no surprise that Chomsky adopts it. Here is some more info about him, from a critical point of view (I'll admit it).

Anyway, Chomsky has now published a piece on the Middle East conflict in his very first article on the Huffington Post! I'm surprised that they took so long to bring him into their stable. Anyway, the article is too long and I don't have the time to do a whole analysis, but it's Chomsky, you don't even have to read it: Israel is wrong about everything. And it brought out more than a few comments of note. Here is one for example:

Awesome. Between this and Ahmed Moor's recent works, it seems like the Huffington Post, which already has a reputation as a hard-left clearinghouse, is only playing host to more extreme points of view. Of course, we've known this for a while.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Matt and I have been receiving a lot of the same questions through various forms of communication, and I thought that I would take this time to answer some of them. If anyone would like more information, please leave a comment on this post or send us an email at the address in the sidebar. If there are more frequently asked questions, this post will be updated as they come in.

Hey! I keep trying to ask you questions/harass you on the Huffington Post and you don't respond! What's up with that?
-We don't discuss the blog in the Huffington Post talkback sections. If you ask us something about it, we won't respond. If you would like your question answered, leave a comment or send us an email.

Why do you collect abusive comments from the Huffington Post?
-We answered that question here.

No, I mean what's the point? Couldn't I just look them up myself?
-You could, but many users have told us that they find it useful not to have to comb through pages of non abusive comments just for one or two that are. Many "watch" sites exist to serve this purpose. 

Why do you focus on anti-Semitism, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments? What about other forms of racism or bigotry?
-We answer that question here. As I said there, if anyone would like to guest write and track abusive comments of other form of bigotry, we would love to hear from you. Simply put, we don't have enough time to catch all the anti-Semitism on the Huffington Post, expanding our focus simply is not feasible.

Where do you draw the line between legitimate criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism? Aren't you just trying to silence all criticism of Israel?
-We use the European Union's Working Definition of Anti-Semitism. It seems to cover it pretty well. If you think that we track everyone who criticizes Israel, please compare an HPW to the actual Huffington Post thread. There are plenty of comments that are not included. If we tried to claim that every criticism of Israel on the Huffington Post was anti-Semitic we would never stop writing. Quite simply, to say that we are branding all criticism of Israel with that label only indicates that you have not read the blog very long.

Why do you keep a list of user profiles?
-We answered that question here.

Okay...but it still seems kind of McCarthyist to me.
-I can see why you might think that, but again it is a common part of "watch" sites. There are many, many users of the Huffington Post who are strongly critical of Israel but will never be profiled here, because they are not abusive and don't say anti-Semitic (or even borderline) things. That being said, if you really believe that a user has been placed on the list unfairly, send us an email and present your case. We are very open to outside input.

If someone is profiled on this site, does that mean you think he or she is an anti-Semite?
-Not generally. For someone to be profiled they usually have a history of making abusive or racist comments. If we do believe that a user is considered to be anti-Semitic (by us) than that will be written in the top paragraph of the profile page. Here's an example. If it isn't there, we don't think the user is anti-Semitic.

Was it you who just deleted my comment/banned my profile?
-I'm going to say this one: WE ARE NOT MODERATORS. We have no more power in the Huffington Post talkback section than you do. For a comment to be deleted, or for a user to be banned, a moderator must have considered it/him/her to be worthy of removal. Matt and I cannot influence the moderators beyond our role as humble users. If you choose to continue to believe in some kind of Zionist conspiracy theory, though, don't let me stop you.

Zach, what's up with your screenname? Are you saying you're a god?
-It's a reference to the television series Doctor Who. Specifically episode 3.9 "The Family of Blood."

Matt, what's up with your screenname? Are you saying you're a saint?
-It's a reference to Dungeons and Dragons.

How much does Israel/AIPAC/The Jewish Lobby/The Elders of Ziyon pay you to do this?
-We are private individuals who have yet to see a single cent for anything we do on the Huffington Post or here. And we don't intend to start. If you don't believe me, quite frankly, you know what you can do. 

HPW: Hamas' Gilad Shalit Cartoon

The Huffington Post covered the story about Hamas sending Israel a cartoon about Noam Schalit's possible future distress over the death of his son. The thread was fully moderated, and I know that some long-standing comments were removed by the time I came back for the "watch" post. Anyway, there are about 280 comments right now, with more probably to come. Click below for the ones of note. There weren't many.

Palestinian Advocacy Organizations

In my travels through the internet yesterday, I came upon this group called the American Task Force On  Palestine. Basically, they are a group that encourages Americans to seek a better relationship with the Palestinians...which is specifically the PA, I suppose? They even have a site called "How to Advocate" with paragraph after paragraph about how people should advocate for the Palestinians and which arguments to use. At first I thought that I might be able to use this as a counter-accusation for the seemingly endless "hasbara" insults.

That turned out to be at a loss, though, because the ATFP is far more moderate than most of the Huffington Post talkbackers. They list their major priorities as 1) freedom for Palestinians 2) security for Israel and 3) enhanced national security for the United States. They even wrote a book against the "one-state solution" I am sure that more than a few HP talkbackers would be very offended by their willingness to accept Israel's existence and that they don't demand "justice" instead of freedom for the Palestinians.

Oh well, I guess there is always "Electronic Intifada." That seems to be more where the HPers are coming from.

Who Review: The Time of Angels

Image Courtesy of The Guardian. How ironic.

The fourth episode of Doctor Who's Season 5 promised the return of one of the most iconic villains of the reboot. Click below to read our thoughts.

Ahmed Moor on Senator Schumer

HP blogger Ahmed Moor, who Zach fisked here, has written another article about the recent remarks of US Senator Charles Schumer and a variety of other topics. Like many of the other bloggers who have commented on this issue, Moor takes Schumer's remarks as a sign of the control Zionists have over the US government.

He writes, "The interview offers a fascinating look into the way Senate Zionists manipulate the president's policy in the region." Yes, "Senate Zionists manipulate", or, in reality speak, Senators who support Israel disagree with the President. I keep making this point on the Huffington Post, but I'll make it here again: During the Bush years, disagreeing with the President was considered among the left to be the greatest thing ever and they would become rightly enraged if anyone suggested they were disloyal to America for criticizing the President. But now that Obama is doing what the left agrees with, they are using the hated tactics of the right for their own purposes and don't see the problem.

Moor also rewrites some history and cause and effect with this sentence, "The siege is a direct result of Palestinian elections in 2006 which resulted in the election of Hamas parliamentarians." We should clearly believe Mr. Moor over the Israeli government which has explicitly stated that the siege is caused only by Hamas' violence and aggression. The facts that the siege is being relaxed every day and that the blockade would end if Shalit was returned seemed to have escaped Mr. Moor's description of events.

But worst of all is Mr. Moor's description of the blockade of Gaza as "collective punishment". He links to the Fourth Geneva Convention, but unfortunately for him his link does not state that a blockade constitutes collective punishment. The term "collective punishment" is used for treatment of an occupied population. Wikipedia has an example of when the British government in Mandatory Palestine punished an entire town of Arabs for the crimes of a small group of unknown Arabs, or when they punished an entire town of Jews for the crimes of a small group of unknown Jews. When you actively punish a large group of occupied people for the crimes of a small subset of them, that is considered to be collective punishment. There are a number of reasons why this does not apply to the Gaza situation. First, Gaza is not considered to be occupied, no matter what the UN says. Second, blockades have never in this history of the world been considered to be collective punishment. The British blockade of Germany during WWII is not considered collective punishment and the US embargo of Cuba is not considered collective punishment. Third, Hamas is not "a small subset" of the Gaza population. They are the elected and widely supported government of the Gazans. If they declare war on Israel and Israel takes steps to fight back, the Gazans simply cannot divorce themselves from Hamas and say we are not to blame! Defining the blockade of Gaza is twisting the definition of collective punishment far away from where it was originally intended by the Geneva Conventions.

Lastly, in a shocking display of intellectual dishonesty, Mr. Moor brings up General Petraeus' supposed comments in which the general stated US support for Israel was putting US troops in danger, even though the General himself stated that interpretation of his statement was wrong. The Huffington Post even covered it. But I guess old anti-Israel rumors die hard, especially when no one calls you out on it.

Great blog post, Mr. Moor. Full of half-truths, personal attacks, and outright lies.

James Zogby on Arab Waiting

James Zogby of the Arab-American Institute is a consistently pro-Palestinian HP blogger, but his posts have never been as out there as Narwani or MJ Rosenberg. In his most recent post, Waiting...And Wasting Time, he approaches the peace process from a different point of view from us but arrives at the same conclusion, Arab leadership and especially the Palestinian Authority need to start become active participants in the peace process instead of waiting for Obama to do their jobs for them.

Zogby points out that when the controversy about building in Jerusalem occurred last month, Israel did its best to advocate for its position. Meanwhile, "All during this time, not a single Palestinian leader visited the U.S. to make the case for Jerusalem. Hollow protests were issued from afar, but these said nothing new and did not register here. The Arab League met and adjourned, but without offering anything newsworthy, and so many Americans were left wondering what the fuss was all about." In my opinion, this is because the Palestinian "case for Jerusalem" amounts to nothing more than 'we want it too!', and thus doesn't seem like it's worthy of any further explanation. Therefore many Americans did wonder what all the fuss was about, since the Palestinian claim for Jerusalem is not greater than the Israeli claim, and thus the Palestinian demand to stop construction is no more convincing than the Israeli desire to continue construction.

Zogby points out that, " Our polls also show that while most Americans will support the President, they simply do not understand the Palestinians' case or their concern with settlements." Now, this is most likely true, because as Zach and I have discussed in the past, the Palestinian "case" is two contradictory positions that do not work together. On the one hand, the Palestinians wave the bloody shirt and talk about how oppressed they are by the Israelis and how they just want peace and to be left alone. On the other hand, they talk about how they deserve "justice" and what they consider to be "their land" back. Zogby's right, the American people see the Israelis and Palestinians as two groups of people who both want parts of the West Bank, but neither group has a greater right to the land than the other. So, the Palestinians need to decide which they are: a group of oppressed innocents who just want to be left alone by Israel, or a group of people fighting for their rights and won't stop until they get what they deserve.

Zogby laments the lack of initiative the Palestinian leadership showed during the conflict between the Netanyahu and Obama governments, and encourages them to get involved in the negotiation action. He writes, "As long as the Arab side is absent and/or passive and waiting, the game will be defined and won by others." But unfortunately for Mr. Zogby, this is all the Palestinians know how to do. They waited for Arafat and now Hamas to liberate the rest of Palestine, they wait for their population to grow comparable to Israel's, they wait for the absolutely perfect peace offer to fall into their laps. The Palestinians don't know how to help themselves, they only know how to react to other people's initiatives. I say this not to stereotype, but to learn from the Palestinians' history.

I would love for the Palestinians to clearly outline their goals and what they want, and then negotiate for it. But unfortunately for everyone involved in this conflict, the Palestinians don't know what they want. Their extremists want Israel gone, their doves want Israel to leave them alone, and the leadership shows little indication of which side they are on. Until the leadership picks a side and starts pursuing that side's goals, the American people in general simply won't support the Palestinians, because they don't know who they are supporting. 

HPW User Profile: Lastwords

Lastwords came to my attention a while ago, and although he hasn't been on any Israel-related threads recently, he's been on my list to profile and I've finally gotten to him. He has borderline anti-Semitic comments, but like many other users such as CigarGod he is unwilling to come out and say what he thinks, most likely because what he thinks is unbelievably anti-Semitic. He refers to Israel as a "beast" (invoking Biblical imagery), and insists Israel controls the White House and Wall Street. There were only a few posts I collected, but they are pretty bad, especially the ones closer to the end. Read on...

Monday, April 26, 2010

We Scoop David Harris on McCarthyism

David Harris has written an article on the Huffington Post called "There's a Whiff of McCarthyism in the Air." I highly suggest that you check it out, but basically Harris writing about how the accusation of "dual loyalty" has started to enter the mainstream as an insult to sling against politicians who support Israel. Too bad we thought of that almost a month ago! Of course, McCarthyism among the Huffington Posters when it comes to Israel support is something normal. In United States politics, it is something new. So I guess I can't fault David Harris for focusing on more real world examples.

And real world examples he provides, for instance a newspaper in Gannet, New York that accuses Congresswoman Nita Lowe of, ""deliberately undermining our national interest in the service of a foreign government." It asked, "To whom is she loyal and whose interests does she represent?" and proposed that she and those like her "register as agents of a foreign government." Sounds like whoever wrote that moonlights as a talkbacker on the Huffington Post, doesn't it? Harris' article is great, he expands his topic all the way from Chuck Schumer to Walt and Mearshimer to Barack Obama.

Naturally, none of this fazed the Huffington Post talkback crowd even a little bit. Click the link below to read the comments of note so far from the fully moderated thread.

Dual Loyalty-Related Comment of the Day

The original link. And isn't the new look utterly terrible? It's terrible. I hope they change it back.

A Freeze in East Jersualem?!

I was very surprised to read the Jerusalem Posts' headline of East Jerusalem Construction Frozen. It looks like there is a de facto freeze Israeli government, even though Netanyahu said he didn't want it to happen. Whether or not this will constitute an actual freeze, and if so for how long, remains to be seen. Before I discuss the implications, though, I figured I should probably get confirmation of the story.

I did in The Daily Star, who in turn got it from the associated press, though it was absent from YnetNews' headlines. And the Huffington Post covered it as well, much to my surprise. The text is pretty much the same as the Jerusalem Posts' version. Naturally, the Huffington Posters met the news with their usual tendencies of distrust and suspicion. But what else is new.

As for the implications of this story, there are many. To the hardliners in Israel, this is a sign that Netanyahu is losing his spine, if he ever had it. That will make it harder for Netanyahu to make more concessions in the future if he wants to keep his government intact. On the other hand, this also calls the bluff of the Palestinians and effectively ends their last excuse not to come forward and negotiate. The ball, to use a worn out metaphor, is in their court.

On the other hand, it is also quite possible that Israel will declare the settlement but turn a blind eye to construction anyway. It has happened before, but I don't think this time Netanyahu would take the risk for fear of being called on it. He may see that as a way to please both sides of the settlement issue, though. Either way, at this point things are looking good from my end.

Conspiracy Comment of the Day

Yes, the entire Western media "in the hands of Zionists or run by pro-Zionists". You can see the cognitive egocentrism here, there's no way media outlets are neutral about this topic, they must be biased either one way or another.

HPW: Mahmoud Abbas Invited to White House

The Huffington Post covered PA President Abbas' expected trip to the White House to meet with President Obama and company. If you read the article, it describes how Abbas is continuing to refuse to negotiate until his demands are met. It'll be interesting to see both how Obama treats him while he's there, and what the future of the peace negotiations will be after the meeting.

Because this article is about a) Palestinian suffering or b) something Israel is doing wrong, the HPers spent a lot of time trying to talk about other topics (namely, a and b). There weren't very many abusive comments, but enough that are worthy of your attention. Follow the link to see.

Bizarre Comment of the Day

Posted on the recent Abbas thread: 

You know as much about what this post actually means as I do, but if I had to guess it seems like some kind of big conspiracy theory centered around the Jews, and if you know the conspiracy, you'll arrive at the "Truth". If any readers would like to offer some assistance deciphering this post, we would appreciate it.

Monday Morning Links

Quite a lot happened this weekend!

First off, Mahmoud Abbas turned down yet another offer of statehood, saying that the "temporary state" offered by Netanyahu wasn't good enough. He said that he wanted to move closer toward final talks. Remember this the next time someone tries to tell you that the Palestinians in the West Bank are suffering from a genocide or being ethnically cleansed. Either that isn't true, or Abbas is willing to put his own politics over the welfare of his people.

Elder of Ziyon has a report about anti-Semitic incidents in universities in California. Should the HP choose to cover the stories, I am sure we will hear about how they are just "reactions" to what Israel is doing.

And finally, Soccer Dad has additional insights and information about the recent Abbas trip to the White House. I highly suggest you check it out, as it contains more information than the Huffington Posts' coverage of the trip so far.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

HPW: White House Pushes Back Against Schumer

The Huffington Post has been covering the Schumer development and has been given it top billing, and here is one example of the White House responding to Schumer's attacks. Just a reminder before we get into the comments: Remember that all Schumer did was disagree with the way that the Obama administration was handling the Israeli/Palestinian situation. He said that they should be pressuring the Palestinians, because the current negotiating tactics were "counterproductive." Robert Gibbs responded by saying, "I don't think it is a stretch to say we don't agree with what Senator Schumer said."

So this is the executive branch and Senator Schumer arguing over the best way to pursue Israeli-Palestinian peace. In substance it's not any different from a senator disagreeing with President Obama's policy toward immigration or healthcare reform. Despite this, the HPers immediately formed a phalanx of opposition toward Schumer, claiming that he was secretly (or not so secretly) loyal to Israel. Other accusations were that he should move to Israel if he loves them so much, and he is "placing Israel's interests over America's." They never explain exactly how disagreeing with Obama on how best to pursue the peace process is giving priority to Israel's interests, but their loyalties aren't the one in question, right?

The fully moderated thread has amassed over 800 comments. I didn't get all the ones with variations of the "dual loyalty" accusation, but I did get many of them. There were of course others worth sharing.

Nazi Comparison Comment of the Day

The original link.

HPW: Steve Clemons on Chuck Schumer's Comments

Huffington Post blogger Steve Clemons wrote at the end of last week a story with the combative headline: "Has Chuck Schumer Ever Criticized Israel or its Leadership in the Way He Just Unloaded on Obama?" To make a long story short, Democrat Schumer chewed out the Obama administration on their handling of the Israeli/Palestinian situation. In the beginning of his article Clemons does a pretty good job of portraying Schumer as a strong-to-the-point-of-irrationality Zionist. Maybe he is. But it didn't take very long at all for Clemons to also dredge up the classic accusation:
"Schumer's screed gets to the edge of sounding as if he is more a Senator working in the Knesset than working in the United States Senate."
Fortunately, that's the closest he gets to the dual loyalty accusation, but even the fact that he hinted at it is informative. If a senator was strongly against healthcare reform, would he be accused of being a secret insurance agent? He would probably be accused of a great many things, but I don't think that one would be one of them. In the later half of his article, Clemons quotes Schumer directly. Let's take a look, shall we?
"I told the President, I told Rahm Emanuel and others in the administration that I thought the policy they took to try to bring about negotiations is counter-productive, because when you give the Palestinians hope that the United States will do its negotiating for them, they are not going to sit down and talk," Schumer told Segal. "Palestinians don't really believe in a state of Israel. They, unlike a majority of Israelis, who have come to the conclusion that they can live with a two-state solution to be determined by the parties, the majority of Palestinians are still very reluctant, and they need to be pushed to get there."
That's not exactly an extremist point of view, it may not be exactly correct, but it's a viewpoint that is held by a great many Israelis and Americans. To simply disagree with Obama's handling of the negotiations (especially in light of the poll I posted earlier) should not be enough to warrant an accusation of "traitor." And yet it does. Perhaps it is because Schumer is Jewish?

Speaking of Schumer, let's talk about him some more: He's a Democrat, and has been described as "hard left." He is pro-gun control, strongly pro-choice, supported the Iraq War but criticized Bush's strategy, he's also in favor of sanctions on Iran. He is strongly in favor of gay marriage and other LGBT issues. You can read some more about him if you like, but as far as liberal issues go, he is right up there with the best of them.

But when it comes to disagreeing with the President on Israel, the HPers are ready to brand him a traitor, denounce him, and give him all kinds of the usual insults. How informative. Click the link below to read the comments of note out of a 230 comment thread.

HPW User Profile: Blindlemon

Blindlemon is a recent addition to the HPers, having spent most of his time discussing the recent healthcare bill. He is a typical HP anti-Israel poster, in that he says over and over again the same four talking points, a) Israel is practicing apartheid/why is the US supporting apartheid b) boycott Israel c) the poor suffering children of Gaza and d) why does Israel have universal health care and we don't. I did not copy down his posts of those four points, but I promise there was a lot of them and you can look them up for yourself. Check out his particular abusive posts below. There weren't very many, but enough to keep track of.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

CNN Poll: Two-Thirds of Americans Disagree With Obama

A talkbacker on the Huffington Post recently linked to a Qunnipiac University poll that found that two-thirds of Americans, including American Jews, disapprove of President Obama's handling of the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Other statistics of note include "Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say that the president should be a strong supporter of Israel but, by a 42 percent to 34 percent margin, voters say Obama's not a strong supporter of Israel." The people's views on the settlements or other Israeli actions were not mentioned in the article.

I know that polls have their own inherent problems, but does this mean that the HPers will stop calling us traitors for disagreeing with Obama's foreign policy in this area? Not very likely!

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Violence in Bil'in, Israeli Arab Injured

YnetNews covers the weekly protests at Bil'in and Naalin, including the fact that an Israeli Arab protester was hit in the head with a gas canister and was transfered to an Israeli hospital. The activists claim he was seriously injured, the army claims he was lightly injured, but he's the only casualty from the protest.

What's interesting for me, though, is the following statements from the IDF:

"The IDF Spokesperson's Office said the protestors had hurled stones at the security forces, who responded with crowd dispersal means."
"According to the army, some 80 Palestinians residents and foreign and Israeli left-wing activists protested ion Naalin and hurled stones at the security forces. Some 200 protestors clashed with the soldiers in Bilin, an IDF official said."

Huh. So much for non-violent resistance. I guess that HP article from a few weeks ago wasn't completely accurate.

South Park Censored Again

The American cartoon South Park last night tried to air another episode which depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed, but the episode was censored by Cartoon Network after a jihadist website threatened violence against the network and South Park's two creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone seemed to be very disappointed by this censorship, but stated they "be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it." 

As always, I can't help but see this episode from an I/P conflict point of view. A lot of HPers claim that American support for Israel is "putting our troops in danger", which is probably true. But their suggested course of action is to end support for Israel, as if when that happened the presence of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would then be considered A-OK by radical jihadist groups. And here's why the slippery slope starts, and South Park's censorship is another step on that slope. If we change our actions because we fear violence, either for ourselves or for our soldiers overseas, what is the result? It's certainly not an increased moderation of those violent groups. Human nature 101: if you have a goal, and you use a certain tactic to get what you want, you will keep using that same tactic. It doesn't matter if you're a bully trying to get lunch money from a kindergartner, an abusive father who wants his kid to stop crying, or a radical political group. If violence works when nothing else does, you will keep using it. 

So the question we Americans need to ask ourselves is, where do we draw the line? At what point are we willing to put ourselves in danger because we don't want to accept these radical groups' demands? Is it when they demand we stop supporting Israel (which I think most Americans, if they felt their lives were actually in danger, would accept)? When a TV show is censored, violating free speech? Or the most extreme example, when we are all forced to convert to Islam or die? Obviously, that extreme example won't come in reality for a long time, if ever, but it's the degrees in between that should make us stop and think about what in life is worth risking our lives for. 

The Definition of Democracy

Check out this exchange, note skialethia's first sentence:

Now, we can all laugh at skialethia's stupidity, but I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about what it means for a country to be a democracy on the Huffington Post.

Very frequently, we hear AZs definitively declare that Israel is not a democracy. The reasons are varied, some of them are Israel is occupying territory, Israel is stealing land, Israel doesn't give the Palestinians the vote, there is discrimination in Israel, etc. Despite the fact that Israel routinely has elections, multiple parties, a free press, and a pretty decent representation of minorities in the government, the AZ standards for democracy are so high that Israel doesn't quite make it. Well, that's OK, we all know the AZs live in an idealized world where soldiers are responsible for every civilian death and everything Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says is the truth. I guess they're pretty demanding when it comes to which country constitutes a democracy.

But then, of course, we get a post like skialethia's, and believe me, that post is not alone. Apparently, the Palestinians live under a democracy, where Hamas won the election fair and square, and therefore are in power under democratic means. The AZs will either ignore or forget the fact that the Gaza election was supposed to be for a parliamentary government, like Israel's, where Hamas has to form a coalition government with the numerous other parties that also won seats in the election. The fact that Hamas used violence to force all of Fatah's party members out of Gaza is left out of the AZ rhetoric declaring the Palestinians to be living in a vibrant democracy.

So what can we conclude from this? As we all know by now, the AZs' do not actually have independent standards of their own, they are willing to use whatever standards they need to promote the Palestinian cause and attack the Israeli cause. Israel has some discrimination and racism? That's it, no longer a democracy (if it ever was)! Hamas eliminated all its rivals using violence and rooftop drops? The Gazans had an election, so that's good enough! One set of standards for Israel, one set for the Palestinians.

McCarthyist Comment of the Day

The original link.

The War On "Anti-Semitism"

In the short time that I have been watching the Huffington Post and it's readership, the topic of anti-Semitism has been brought up many times. Sometimes people accuse other people of being anti-Semites. Sometimes they shouldn't have done so. Sometimes there are articles about anti-Semitism or a famous Holocaust denier. Sometimes Huffington Posters rail against unspecified "Jews" about overusing the "anti-Semitism card," such as it is. I have come to the conclusion that among the more extreme members of the Huffington Post (and the other communities from which they hail) there is a war against anti-Semitism.

And I don't mean that in a good way: They are not fighting to end anti-Semitism in the way the War on Drugs was supposed to end illegal drug use or the War on Poverty was supposed to end poverty. What the anti-Zionists want to do is simply to destroy the term "anti-Semitism" so that it is never used again, or at least is rendered utterly meaningless. This effort takes many different forms, and at this point I have seen them all.

1. Claiming that Jews are the one watering down the term by conflating criticism of Israel with hatred of Jews. This might happen sometimes, but not often, at least not compared to the amount of times that this accusation has been made. Here is an example. 
2. Claiming that there is no anti-Semitism, there are only paranoid, thin-skinned Jews who play the race card, usually for their own nefarious purposes or to silence criticism of their actions. Here is an example. 
3. Claiming that anti-Jewish thoughts or actions is not based on bigotry toward Jews, it is only a "reaction" to bad things that Jews do, most notably Israel. In other words, there is no such thing as bigotry toward Jews, or more simply, "anti-Semitism." In other words, if there is negative sentiment toward Jews, it is only because the Jews deserve it. Here is an example.
4. Claiming that the Jews are the ones who "create" anti-Semitism (or see it where it doesn't exist) because otherwise they wouldn't be able to play the victim card, among other selfish gains. Here is an example.
5. And probably the weakest argument of all, the etymology argument: That "Semites" means Semitic peoples, therefore "anti-Semitism" doesn't mean hatred of Jews, in contrast with the fact that it has always meant that and always will. It is ultimately meaningless and pointless, but on every anti-Semitism thread and many Israel-related threads people will pull it out. Here is an example.

If none of the above strike you as particularly problematic, consider taking the Jews out of it: If someone told you that racism doesn't exist, it is only black people who play the race card, would you take him seriously? At best, he is hopeless naive. What if he told you that black people just keep fabricating instances of racism (or seeing it where it doesn't exist) to keep white people feeling guilty about slavery and segregation? Or that they accuse everyone who criticizes President Obama of racism and isn't that awful? Funny how when Jews are removed from the equation, things become a lot simpler, eh?

HPW: MJ Rosenberg's Elie Wiesel Article

Matt already wrote briefly about MJ Rosenberg's ad hominem attack on Elie Wiesel that was given top billing on the Huffington Posts' "World" section, but I thought that a few of the comments in the talkback section were worth sharing. As far as HP threads go, it wasn't bad, and in fact many of the pro-Israel people were behaving badly as well. I feel like some comments might have been deleted, but those that remain tells you something about the Huffington Post readership on this particular topic, though.

HPW: Netanyahu Refuses to Freeze EJ Settlement Building

Once again, PM Netanyahu has refused to obey the US's request to freeze all settlement building in east Jerusalem. While this article was met with rousing choruses of "Cut off the aid! Cut off the aid!", there weren't too many abusive comments. The ones I've found, I've outlined below. But here's a sneak peek for you.

Israel in my view, does not belief the rest of the whole world have their interest at heart.

And any reason will be raised by them to continue this mode of engagement with the rest of the world.

Oh, Anti-Christ, where art Thou? Come Quickly and resolve this Issue, our at least temporarily (3 and half years)

Dual Loyalty-Related Comment of the Day

From a Huffington Post blogger no less:

Update: And another one!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why Was This Comment Deleted?

Here's the original post, the one at the top:

Here is my deleted response to it:

Thanks a lot, HP. Guess we're not allowed to call out people who insinuate the Jews control the US government anymore.

Update: And now it's back! I guess the comments section is just being screwy. 

Bill Corcoran Feels for Gaza, Advertises Himself

A new blog post was posted on the Huffington Post today by Bill Corcoran. Corcoran is the president of American Near East Refugee Aid or ANERA. Remember this, it'll be important later.

His post was entitled "Easing Gaza's Blockade?", which seems to indicate he is seeking to find a solution to end or ease the Gaza blockade. We would expect him to talk about the Hamas-Israel relationship, maybe encourage both sides to recognize each other, signs of good faith, or perhaps returning Gilad Shalit. Instead, Corcoran talks about life in Gaza pretty much exclusively.

While I don't know everything about life in Gaza, I could offer a counter point to Corcoran's descriptions. He writes that, "Nine out of ten Gazans depend on foreign assistance to survive. Four out of ten children aged three to five have been diagnosed with anemia. One in ten children under five years old is malnourished." While undernourishment is a terrible thing, this photo essay of life in Gaza seems to indicate food is not too difficult to come by in Gaza. Who should we believe, Corcoran or our lying eyes?

Corcoran discusses at length the various items Gazans are missing, such as farm equipment, cement, etc., etc. There are two parts of the essay that really caught my attention, though. The first is the following parts of the essay, whchi reveal more about Corcoran's real aim in writing the essay: 

" ANERA initiated psychosocial care for those subjected to so much violence and distributed thousands of shoes for children who had lost everything when their homes were destroyed...For ANERA and other international humanitarian organizations, meeting this goal has become harder every day that Gaza remains cut off...Without supplies to replant farmland, ANERA is responding to requests to help develop urban agriculture, from rooftop gardens to small urban vegetable plots that can provide nutritious meals.
ANERA has also expanded its program to offer needy families 10 hens and a rooster to kick-start poultry production for egg-harvesting and income generation..."
So, what's an important part of Corcoran's essay? Advertising his own organization. He's essentially saying, "Life in Gaza is terrible, ANERA is making it better. Aren't we awesome?"
The second interesting thing is not what is in the essay, but what isn't in the essay. You would think in a title entitled "Easing Gaza's Blockade?", Corcoran would present a possible solution to why the blockade exists, or at least someone to blame for it. Since he's an HP blogger, I expected him to blame Israel and Israel alone for the blockade, but surprisingly, he didn't. But neither does he talk about how Hamas' continued refusal to negotiate with Israel and capture of Gilad Shalit has caused Israel to maintain the blockade, nor how Israel has gradually reduced the severity of the blockade over the past year. In fact, he offers no solution whatsoever, preferring instead to pontificate about how bad life in Gaza is. 
So when we look at the essay as a whole, what do we see? We see a president of an aid organization, talking entirely about how bad life in Gaza is, and how great his organization is for helping out there. He offers no solution to ending the blockade, nor does he acknowledge the fact that life in Gaza isn't nearly as bad as life in many other places around the world. Next time, Mr. Corcoran, take out an advertisement for ANERA. It'll achieve the same purpose and your goal will at least be clear.
I'll leave you with this parting thought. According to ANERA's website, they are dedicated to helping people in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza. According to Corcoran's article, "ANERA initiated psychosocial care for those subjected to so much violence and distributed thousands of shoes for children who had lost everything when their homes were destroyed." So my question to you, dear reader, is do you think ANERA provided 'psychosocial care' to the Israeli children and families who were under attack by rockets from Gaza for the eight years leading up to Cast Lead? Let's think about that before we cheer Bill Corcoran as a great humanitarian.

Blood Libel/Anti-Semitic Comment of the Day

The original link

HPW: Netanyahu Urges Sanctions Against Iran

You can tell by the title was the article was about, and naturally it provoked a firestorm of hatred from the Huffington Post community, much of it directed against other posters who disagree with them. This watch includes everything we have come to expect at this point. Comments attacking Netanyahu and thinking that Israel should be the one sanctioned instead were not included, obviously.

The fully moderated thread has over 2,000 comments. I only had time to search through the first 15 pages out of 27, but there were more than enough comments to justify a page. If anyone doubts that there is hatred against Israel, Jews, and their supporters on the Huffington Post, take a look through these comments. Your doubts will be banished.

Anti-Semitic Insult of the Day

The original link. Why yes, people who support Israel are very welcome on the Huffington Post! Why do you ask?

HPW: Israeli Defense Minister: Occupation Must End

The Huffington Post covered this story, about Barak telling us that the occupation needs to end, preferably soon. In other news, the grand tradition of Barak telling us things we already know continues. The Huffington Post crowd wasn't too combative on this story, as it was Israel doing something that they agreed with. But there were a few comments worth sharing.

The fully moderated thread has around 350 comments.

Some Thoughts on the Goldstone Bar Mitzvah Saga

For those who have been watching news from Israel and the Jewish world, you might be aware that Richard Goldstone was uninvited from attending his grandson's Bar Mitzvah in South Africa. Many people had different reactions to this: Martin Solomon felt like Goldstone got exactly what he deserved. Avraham Burg at Ynet thinks that what has made Judaism great is it's inclusiveness and willing to criticize it's own members and itself, and therefore Goldstone's family was wrong to shun him like that. On the Huffington Post, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote a scathing editorial condemning the family's decision.

It's not such an easy question: The anti-Zionists will naturally claim that Goldstone is a man of vision, of justice, who put this name to the report because he cares about Palestinian human rights and punishing the evil Israelis. Later reports about Goldstone show that this may not exactly be the case. While working in South Africa Goldstone was quite willing to stand up for the apartheid regime, including sending children to jail simply for protesting it. That story was covered by the Huffington Post. That's not even to comment on the blatant biases within his own report, which he knew about big ignored. More reports, including those on Solomon's link, indicate that Goldstone took the job in Gaza so that he could work his way up the ranks of the United Nations. If so, one might conclude that he sold out his fellow Jews for personal gain. If so, his family might be justified in making it personal.

In the end, though, I feel like ostracizing him from the community is ultimately the wrong direction to take. Make him feel unwelcome, sure, but try to remove him altogether? That's what Israel's enemies would do. I am with Avraham Burg and Rabbi Boteach on this one, condemn what he did and his report, but let the man see his grandson. If he doesn't know what the Jewish community of the world thinks of him by now, he'll get the message real soon.

Comment of the Day

The original link.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ironic Comment of the Day

The original link.

The Case Against Ahmed Moor's "Case For One State"

As I mentioned earlier, Ahmed Moor is a brand new Huffington Post blogger, and his debut article is all about destroying Israel as a Jewish state. In doing so, he proves himself to be truly "more Palestinian than the Palestinians" which is ironic, because he himself is Palestinian. But then again, he also doesn't live in the territories anymore, so he doesn't need to worry about the consequences of what he advocates. Anyway, let's go through his article about the "one state solution" together. It should be fun.

Mr. Moor starts off his article by complaining about how Netanyahu cannot accept a two-state solution and maintain his coalition. This is not true, and even if it were, Netanyahu can always be voted out, while Moor's conclusion from the current situation is that a two-state solution is in fact unworkable. He then goes on to probably the most important and informative part of his article:
"But its most glaring failure is the presumption that Palestinians will meekly accept American dictates regarding the right of return. As a Palestinian, I believe that any plan that seeks to sacrifice our inalienable human rights to ensure race-based majorities in Israel will fail."
 More Palestinian than the Palestinians? Right here, baby. Moor is more than willing to condemn his fellow Palestinians to another decade of violence and suffering before he would even dream of giving up his "inalienable human rights." Guess what, Mr. Moor? Part of peacemaking is compromise. Compromise means giving something up. And considering that the Palestinians never really had a right of return to begin with, I don't think asking them to renounce it is that much to ask. He can try to muddle the waters with loaded language as much as he wants but there is nothing in international law that gives the Palestinians the right to flood into Israel without permission from the Israelis who live there.

Fortunately, it's a non-issue because true Palestinian moderates have already expressed a willingness to forego the "right of return" in exchange for another concession. Mr. Moor might want to considering learning from their example. It's quite easy for him to sit in Beirut and demand the Palestinians don't back down, but I guess that's the nature of opinion writers, isn't it?

"Jews for Sarah"

Solomonia has posted a link to this website, which is an article about the new group "Jews for Sarah", an organization for Jewish Americans who support Sarah Palin. The article is about the group's criticism of Obama, but I just want to point out that this group exists. A lot of times on the HP, a group or individual who criticizes Israel is considered to be more respectable if they or he or she is Jewish. Because another Jewish person criticizes Israel, I've been told I shouldn't disagree with the criticism.

But this is a group of Jews who support Sarah Palin. I don't know what your political views are, but I know on the HP Palin's a bad joke. So what's my point? My point is, there are Jews out there who will support all sides of the political spectrum. Just because some Jews do not support Israel doesn't mean those Jews are rights and Jews who support Israel are wrong. It just means we disagree on the issues, just like all the other groups of people around the world.

Anti-Semitic Comment of the Day

On an article posted yesterday about a Clinton-Barak join speech, our old pal mountainforce rears his head again:

Yep, that's all us Jews care about. Greater "Isreal".

The Huffington Post's Newest Bloggers

Yesterday we were introduced to a couple of new bloggers to join the Huffington Post community, notable because they write about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and will continue to do so in the future.

Dana Agmon is a former Israeli officer who now lives in New York City. She works in the One Voice Movement, which is basically another peace promoting organization. Electronic Intifada has accused them of being too pro-Israel, which means that they are moderate and should be praised. As for Ms. Agmon, her first article is entitled, "Can Israel Be It's Own Worst Enemy?" I might take a closer look at it later but simply put she warns against Israel refusing to take responsibility and blaming others for their actions. It's critical of Israel, but also moderate, it is something that Bradley Burston might write.

Ahmed Moor is the other new blogger, he is a Palestinian journalist who is based in Beirut. His debute article is, "The Case For A One State Solution," in which....well, I guess I don't have to describe it. Simply put, advocating for a one-state solution is a pretty good indication that Moor and others who take that position are more Palestinian than the Palestinians. But more on that later.

At this point, it looks like these new bloggers will provide a greater variety of viewpoints, and there is only so much information we can glean from one article apiece. But at this point it looks like more of the same: Criticize Israel for not being good enough, and attack Israel's existence. A balanced exchange of ideas is truly happening on the Huffington Post.